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Would Dr. King be pleased today?



Published: Sat, April 2, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Where were you on April 4, 1968?

I was a sophomore at East High School, and I, like the rest of the world, would look on in horror at this news announcement: Shortly after 6 p.m., at a Memphis, Tenn., hotel, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Memphis.

Despite cries from others in the civil-rights movement for calm and nonviolence, King’s death sparked riots throughout this country.

I remember several white East High students, mostly males, being beaten and harassed by several black students — an irrational reaction to an irrational moment in history.

The King assassination was 43 years ago.

I wonder if King would be pleased with how life in America in general, and the black community specifically, has progressed.

At the time of his death, the U.S. was embroiled in the Vietnam War. Today, the U.S. is embroiled in two wars — and hopefully not a third.

King was in Memphis to support that city’s black public-sanitation workers, who went on strike for better pay, better treatment and more work.

According to statistics culled from the Internet, the unemployment rate for black adults in 1968 was at 8.8 percent, with a rate for black youths at between 40 percent and 45 percent.

Today, the unemployment rate among black adults is 15.8 percent, with the same high unemployment rate of 44 percent for African-American youths.

King would be even more appalled to find that one in every four black people live in poverty, and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks account for nearly half of Americans living with the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

I think King would be discouraged that there still are more black men in prison than in college, and that young, unwed African-American girls are getting pregnant at alarming rates.

Here is an equally disturbing U.S. Census Bureau stat: There are 1.3 million black grandparents who lived with their own grandchildren younger than 18. Of this number, 50 percent also were responsible for their care.

Those are some of the negatives, but King would certainly have enjoyed seeing a man of color in the White House.

He also would be encouraged that voting rates are up in African-American communities, and that 1.5 million blacks 25 and older have advanced college degrees (master’s, doctorates, medical or law).

I think King would be frustrated in the unusual first names given to African-American children in the 21st century.

I think he would be proud of the accomplishments of blacks in the entertainment and sports industries but be equally disappointed there aren’t more black doctors, teachers and lawyers. I certainly think he would be alarmed that black men are underrepresented in the aforementioned fields, especially public-school teachers.

When I taught English at the former Lincoln Middle School in Youngstown in 1975-76, I was among the few black male teachers in the school. When I was a student in the Youngstown schools, I could count on one hand the number of black male teachers I had.

Despite the major achievements by African-Americans from 1968 to now, I still think King would remain frustrated that there is still so much more to be done to provide a level playing field for black and poor people in this country.

His dream for an American society, essentially, was for equal opportunity for all people and that no one would be denied that opportunity based on race.

I think we can agree that although we draw closer to that goal, it has not been attained and, because of the dynamics and history of race in this nation, may never be.

I believe King would not be content to let his dream for America fade away, however. If he lived today — he would have been 82 this year — I believe he still would preach that all people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

One local event dedicated to King’s memory is Monday at the Mahoning County Courthouse rotunda in downtown Youngstown.

U.S. District Court Judge Benita Y. Pearson will be the keynote speaker at a memorial service from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program is sponsored by the Baptist Pastors’ Council of Youngstown.

Ernie Brown Jr., a regional editor at The Vindicator, writes a monthly column. Contact him at ebrown@vindy.com


Comments

1twentyonetwelve(98 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm sure he would be proud that his people are now the racists.

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2VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I believe Rev. Martin Luther King would agree the degregation of our youth in general is a major disappointment, especially in the manner in which we are allowing it to continue.

Our children of today are spoiled, rude, cruel, uneducated, self-centered and the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

What ever happened to tough love?

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

"I remember several white East High students, mostly males, being beaten and harassed by several black students — an irrational reaction to an irrational moment in history."

And the beat goes on . Jamar Houser showed his hatred of whites at St. Dominics Church by executing Angeline Fimognari .

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4Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

"Despite the major achievements by African-Americans from 1968 to now, I still think King would remain frustrated that there is still so much more to be done to provide a level playing field for black and poor people in this country."

Level playing field? The blacks in today's society have so many opportunities. Scholarships, minority hiring, free tuition, etc. It's just a matter of doing something with the opportunities instead of living off the government and blaming and making excuses for everything. Major problem.

"If he lived today — he would have been 82 this year — I believe he still would preach that all people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin."

Seems the blacks are more racist then the whites in this country. So right when he said that "People should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin." But that goes both ways.

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5DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Dr.King no doubt would be proud an African American was President,but sad that while Warren,Ohio swore in 8 new fireman yesterday,none were black.

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6Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

dole

"....but sad that while Warren,Ohio swore in 8 new fireman yesterday,none were black."

That is exactly what I mean. Why does it matter if none were black? Maybe they hired the "best" 8 fireman for the job. Is that so wrong? Do you have to hire someone just because he/she is black? Wouldn't that be discrimination the other way? So what your saying is that Warren is "wrong" just because they didn't hire a black firemen? Unreal.

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7rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Here we go again.TwentyoneTwelve and Stan, People with Sheets on. You say Racists black people!!!!!!!!! Wonder why? Of course the playing field is fair. Level playing field. Come on, race is not a factor in America and never have been. Black people are Americas problem. They make the rules,the guns, etc.

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8DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

What I was asking......were there any black applicants?

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9Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

rump

Watch the following videos...

Hon. James David Manning, PhD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9fx0...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QUTeH...

Others

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVv6tC...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX1ws9...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftcbk1...

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10rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Life2short, Why? What for? What would I get out of it? Properganda? What?

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

rumppy :

There was no level playing field for Angeline Fimognari . They did cover her with a sheet so that made it OK . Right ? I make no excuses for criminals of any race .

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12rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Stanley,I am glad to see that you are color blind. Is that right Stanley? You aren't racist are you? Keep up the good work. Help some others along. You see, you can make a difference. If you stay positive.

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13Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Life2short, Why? What for? What would I get out of it? Properganda? What?

No, not propaganda, but thinking outside the box instead of always the same response.

Your post:

Here we go again.TwentyoneTwelve and Stan, People with Sheets on. You say Racists black people!!!!!!!!! Wonder why?

My own opinion, I don't see anywhere were what they commented that was racist. It's amazing how a "comment" could be taken in so many different ways.

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14borylie(769 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

rumppy,I don't know if you're black or white and don't really care. But you and the black community should read the story of Anne Frank and find out what true discrimination really is and how millions of Jews died and suffered. Yet many have become successful and started their own country. They have not sat around for 65 years blaming the Germans and making excuses,their making money and have earned respect. Try this tactic instead of blaming "Whitey". Where has that got the black community?

Do you really think most white Americans want to see blacks fail? I don't,just leave me alone and quit blaming me for your failures,

If you think I'm a racist,I don't care. Makes no difference to me. And as of now,it's not against the law to be a racist. So call me what you want,just quit blaming me because the blacks can't overcome their problems.

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15rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

borylie, you been isolated too long. You are stupid and I don.t intend on spending my time addressing stupidity. For one you are a product of how you think and it shows just what and who you are. What makes you think that I care about what the likes of you think? Leave you alone? I don't even know you!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you know how you sound? Leave you ALONE!!!!!!!!! Boy oh boy!!!!!!!!!!!! Damn, didn't know they still breed supidity in the vallley. Its alive and well. By the way, do some soul searching. You truly need it.

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16rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Life2Short, I told you that you would not understand. Just like you said, you have not felt your commrads have said anything out of context or as you say racist. I told you its beyond comprehension for some. But, I will not give up on you. There is still have hope.

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17Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

rump

"Just like you said, you have not felt your commrads have said anything out of context or as you say racist."

They are not comrades I have no clue who the others are. But they have opinions like everyone else. Anyway copy and paste the so-called racist remarks from the above comments. Not to difficult to do.

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18borylie(769 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

rumppy,Good thing you're not going to spend time addressing my post. Did you break your keyboard typing your rant. Boy oh boy,I guess I got under your skin,whatever color it is. When you can't respond civily to my post,that just shows you really didn't have an answer.

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19twentyonetwelve(98 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

A level playing field?!? Is that a joke? Blacks have far more programs for aid than whites do. They have scholarships for black students only. No whites. Find me a scholarship that is for white students only. No Blacks. How is that fair?

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20Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Find me a government program of any kind that is for whites only .

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21rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

twentyonetwelve, who are you? So what have you missed out on your whole life. You are probably from the other side of the fence. You know what I mean? A white man that is mad. Have to blame someone for your failures. Where do you work? What is your profession? I could only imagine. Where do you live? There is no excuse for your failures in life. Oh maybe its the black scholarships. I don't feel any pitty for you. You are by what you say, tells me you are uneducated, mad, can't find a job. Why? Because all the blacks have them and the scholarships.

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22rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Stanley, there you go again. Look for yourself. I really don't care.

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23rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Borylie, can.t you read? I told you, you aren't worthy of a response. Stupidity is not where I choose to spend time on. Get it!!!!!!!!

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24twentyonetwelve(98 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Rumpy. Im sure you live in Canfield. Your mommy and daddy paid for your school. Your mommy and daddy paid for your car, and your big Canfield house. You never had to get scholarships because mommy and daddy paid!

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25Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Bottom line, Dr. King would be very disappointed with todays black society. He preached nonviolence and being held accountable. Neither of which is present today.

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26rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

twentyonetwelve. I am happy to have great educated parents who raised me to respect all. No to all your comments. Not right again. I grow tried of my white race always blaming others. Even though they may have some problems. We all have them. my white brothers and sisters are on welfare as well, live in trailers, shoot and kill one another, sell drugs, raise children without a father. Whats the difference? Skin color?

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27rumppy(107 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

twentyonetwelve. I am happy to have great educated parents who raised me to respect all. No to all your comments. Not right again. I grow tried of my white race always blaming others. Even though they may have some problems. We all have them. my white brothers and sisters are on welfare as well, live in trailers, shoot and kill one another, sell drugs, raise children without a father. Whats the difference? Skin color?And its my mother and father not mommy and daddy. DUH

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28Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

rumppy :

"Stanley, there you go again. Look for yourself. I really don't care."

I hear ya rumpy !

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29borylie(769 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

rumppy,Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner,but I had a meeting and just got back. Threw the sheets in the washer and here I am. Please don't respond,because I get it!!! You don't think I'm worthy of a response. You told me that twice in your responses. So please don't tell me for a third time you're not going to respond. I'm so stupid I fell for it the first two times. Have a nice evening.

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30commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

rumppy must like to read his own responses because he never gives up even when it's his "last" response

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31othello(8 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Great article Ernie!

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32lovedrama(138 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree with most points of the article, but who cares what anyone names their kids? I have heard many beautiful and unusual names in all cultures.

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33Rights4All(3 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

i believe that he would see the current hostile conservative political climate exactly for what it is...an attack on minorities. especially at the state tea party levels. wake up people.

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